Press Release for
September 25, 2001
Andrew Wachtel

A new bilingual anthology of Russian verse, From the Ends to the Beginning: A Bilingual Anthology of Russian Poetry, is now available free on the Internet at The aim of this innovative project is to provide an intelligently chosen, well-translated, and comprehensive anthology of Russian poetry from its beginnings in the 18th century to the contemporary scene. The anthology breaks new ground the in study and appreciation of Russian poetry by including multimedia elements that would have been impossible in any other format:

• Facing texts of Russian originals and English translations of 200 poems that broadly represent more than 225 years of Russian poetry.
• 38 detailed resource pages on the various poets containing extensive biographical information, bibliographies, and links. For many of these poets, is the only English-language source of information on the Internet.
• 75+ previously unavailable archival recordings of poetry performed by Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Mayakovsky, Pasternak, Esenin, Bunin, and others. When recordings by the poets themselves are not available, the site contains performances by
leading Russian actors or musical renditions of the works.
• 400+ illustrations of authors, monuments, and manuscript versions of many poems.
• A search engine that enables free-text and Boolean searches of the collection.

We plan to constantly add and update materials, especially for contemporary poets. Another distinguishing characteristic of the anthology is its primary structure: It begins with the contemporary poetry scene and traces back through two centuries of Russian heritage to the beginnings of the poetic tradition. Comparing the history of Russian poetry to a tree, Ilya Kutik states in the anthology's introduction that "the chief goal of this anthology is to show the roots - the 18th and 19th centuries - that produced the crown of Russian poetry, the 20th century."

Kutik points out that are numerous ways to enjoy and use the collection: "It is no mere anthology in the sense of a collection of poems by a set of authors. It is rather a book fundamentally constructed on the principle of the "root and crown." If you enter the "Search" section of our site, you can see, for instance, how the epithet "golden" has entirely different meaning for each poet. It then becomes apparent WHY it means something different."The collection is designed for research and classroom use. It can serve as a textbook for an upper-level undergraduate or introductory graduate course on Russian poetry. It is also ideal for use in a survey of Russian culture class. Finally, by using the extensive audio content, the site can also be incorporated in any level Russian language program.The project is a collaborative effort. It was edited by Andrew Wachtel and Ilya Kutik (Northwestern University) and designed, developed, and maintained by Michael Denner (Stetson University). Tatiana Tulchinsky, Andrew Wachtel, and Gwenan Wilbur translated the poems.

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